February 2017 Flyer Page 3 Basics of Airbrushing

Start spraying with airbrush to one side of model Stop spraying only when airbrush is past model Move airbrush parallel to model with steady, even motion 3"-4" 3 volumes with the trigger. The air on a double-action brush is controlled by pushing down on the spray button; the paint volume is adjusted by pulling back on the button. Double- action brushes are good for painting and weathering in tight areas where controlling paint volume is necessary. Some airbrushes, such as the one shown in fig. 3 , are referred to as hybrids. These are single-action brushes, but the paint is mixed internally. Airbrushes are further categorized as external and internal mix. In external-mix airbrushes, the air and paint are mixed outside of the brush. With an internal-mix airbrush, the air is drawn into the rear of the brush, while the paint is drawn (either by gravity or suction feed) into the middle. External-mix airbrushes, which are all single-action, are good general-use brushes and easy to clean. Internal- mix brushes are better at atomizing paint into smaller particles but are more work to clean. Air supply Having a source of dry, clean compressed air is key for successful airbrushing. Air sources vary in type, price, and complexity. The cheapest is a propellant can. Though affordable, if you don't airbrush often, it's difficult to regulate the air flow from a can, and the can may freeze during extended painting sessions. If you plan to airbrush on a more regular basis, an air compressor is a better long-term investment. Airbrush- specific compressors are priced depending on features. Not all features Fig. 4 Airbrush stroke. To achieve a smooth, even finish, move the airbrush as shown in this illustration. Overlap the edge of each stroke to get an even color across the model. Fig. 5 Model handling. Handles make it easier to rotate a model when airbrushing. You can also make your own handle from scrap wood or foam blocks, but use foam only with acrylic paints as organic-solvent-based paint will dissolve foam. Illustration by Rick Johnson

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